04 January 2012


The paranoid-style of politics resurfaces during economic downturns (late 19th century, early 20th), or perceived threats from within (McCarthy era, anti-civil rights groups), or without (1960s, with Goldwater, John Birch Society). (See Richard Hofstadter's The Paranoid Style of American Politics, first written 1965, re-released 2008).

I have Facebook friends, who certainly believe Pres. Obama "radical." Further, someone close to me fervently believed Obama was planning a Nazi-style putsch to overthrow the U.S. government from within back in spring 2010!

Hofstadter defines "paranoid style" as heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy--all part of much of the pseudo-conservative political right of today. This segment is more hard-nosed reactionary than conservative. An example of this is that there were reactionaries in the 1950s who believed Eisenhower a socialist!

Where are real conservatives when we need them?

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